Indigenous people in Arctic Urgency to preserve their cultural and natural heritage!
Indigenous people in Arctic: Urgency to preserve their cultural and natural heritage!
Indigenous people in Arctic regions are among the first ones to feel the effects of climate change. The latter has impact on the physical environment of these peoples, but also on the living organisms which inhabit it. Not only these communities depend on biodiversity for their subsistence, they also have a strong connection to the latter due to the role biodiversity plays for their cultural identity. ULB Inside COPs assisted the meeting organized by Global Arctic Youth Network (AYN) about the interconnection of climate change, biodiversity and cultural equality. The youth from different cultures shared their individual perspectives and collectively discussed the way AYN facilitates a global discussion and collaboration on sustainable development, while highlighting the key elements which are climate change, biodiversity and cultural equality. The speakers of the panel included representatives from Inuits, Evenks, but also from Iceland. These outlined the deep knowledge of indigenous peoples about their environment, but also the way these try to share and spread it around the global community. Moreover, the preservation of the language of some people is threatened which endangers their future generations. More specifically, these may be deprived of specific knowledge about the environment or biodiversity. It is worth noting that such cultural elements like songs and dances of these peoples reflect and can tell us a lot about their close connection with the environment. Besides that, the issue of sustainable resource exploration was raised during the meeting which is one of the main characteristics of relationship between these populations and nature. At the end of the meeting Karolina Skog, the actual minister of Environment of Sweden expressed her support for the AYN work and emphasized that the climate negotiations at the UNFCCC COP24 must find nature-based solutions to address climate change so that the climate policy doesn’t affect biodiversity and indigenous people. Later, Olga Nikolayeva, the representative of Evenks, but also the member of the AYN kindly accepted to offer some of her time to ULB Inside COPs and to answer some of our questions.